It’s difficult to know where to start with Deja Vu… part flatland video, part travelogue, part lifestyle film… Simon O’Brien’s most recent DVD seems to defy description.
Simon is acknowledged as being one the best, most widely travelled, and influential flat riders gracing the planet today, and Deja Vu pays testament to all of this. From the opening credits, you know you’re getting something special, feeling more like you’re about to sit down and watch a movie, rather than a ‘BMX Video’…
Filming and editing have come a long way, with good quality cameras and editing software coming down in price, allowing all kinds of people to create high-end movies. This is just what Simon O’Brien and his friends have done, created something unique, offering an insight into his personality, and some of the things that make it up. Not just flatland (which is mid-blowing), but BMX in general, surfing, MX, culture, travel and B-Boys.
There’s a lovely mix of video and film here, with grainy travel footage intercut with beautifully crisp shots of Simon and friends riding. The sessions that Simon lays down are a joy to watch, with his ‘smoothly aggressive’ slow linking up what seems like every trick in the flatland book. The contrast of Simon’s riding alongside extended cuts of B-Boy battles just make you smile, as you know you’re watching an integral part of his influences. The music chosen for Simon’s sessions back this up too, with great beats flowing with his moves. Oh, and haven’t we all thrown (or wanted to) our bikes when a link doesn’t work out right… It’s all part of the package.
The visual effects used in Deja Vu add another level to the DVD too, with lights tracing Simon’s moves, and broken glass early on building up more and more depth. That’s what I love about this movie, there’s so much depth to it. There’s great filming; great music; and a real commitment to creativity, on and off the bike.
My personal favourite sections are the ´music video´ featuring INGA, with music and moves weaving together, playing out the emotion in the song and the riding. Alongside this is the travel section, with plenty of well-known faces giving their views on the whole travel vibe, and what it brings them.
All in, Simon and crew have created a movie that demands repeated viewing, as you’ll always find something new on each viewing, and mixing up other aspects of life with flatland just makes it a richer, more rewarding experience. If you even have just a passing interest in flatland, I heartily recommend you check out Deja Vu… it’s what many of us feel, and makes you smile.
Good on ya Mate!